A Florida law that limits the amount of damages that victims can receive in medical malpractice cases has been the center of a heated debate for the past few years. The Florida law currently caps noneconomic damages at $500,000 per doctor in most cases. However, earlier this week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals “rejected the challenge of the family of a medical malpractice victim who claimed the cap violated state and federal laws.” The damage cap “passes muster” according to the Court of Appeals and the family’s claim that the law “robbed them of their right to be justly compensated for medical mistakes” was dismissed. The Court’s Order also directed the Florida Supreme Court to address the remaining unresolved state issues, including whether the cap violates the right to a jury trial under Florida law.
The $500,000 cap was adopted in 2003 as a result of riding malpractice insurance premiums for doctors. “The law allows victims to receive any award for economic damages, such as lost wages, but restricts the amount of noneconomic damages for pain and suffering based on a complicated damage that depends on each case.” The case was initially filed because the family claimed, “lawmakers had no reason to believe the cap would reduce the cost of medical malpractice insurance.”
The case that reached the Court of Appeals was filed by the family of Michelle McCall, who died in 2006 at a Florida hospital after giving birth to her son. According to the family’s claims, the nurse who was looking after McCall never informed McCall’s doctor that her blood pressure was dangerously low during a surgical procedure and as a result, the doctor never checked McCall’s vital signs himself. A Florida judge awarded McCall’s estate $2 million in noneconomic damages, but was forced to reduce the award to $1 million because of the economic cap.
US appeals court upholds Fla. med. malpractice cap , www.naplesnews.com May 27, 2011.
Doctors and hospitals owe a duty to their patients to provide them with the best care possible and any deviation from an acceptable standard of care renders them liable for any injuries caused. Even with the medical malpractice cap, families can still recover compensation for medical expenses, any past and future lost wages and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, contact the South Miami personal injury lawyers at the Friedland Law Group today. The Broward personal injury attorneys are expert insurance litigation lawyers who have a successful track record of recovering compensation for their clients. The law places specific time limits on these types of claims, so don’t hesitate! Call (305) 661-2008 today for your free consultation!
The Miami medical malpractice attorneys at the Friedland Law Group handle all types of medical malpractice injuries throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland Law Group handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective products, motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls and construction site injuries. Call today and let our family take care of your family!